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Coffee Makers: Macchine da Caffè

An encyclopedic tome packing extensive history, photos, technical drawings and more

by Paolo Ferrarini in Food + Drink on 07 October 2013

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Rather than a simple reference guide, "Coffee Makers: Macchine da Caffè" is the first encyclopedia of coffee machines and extensive exploration of the history of making coffee. The result of two years of travel and research, this project was born from the passion and knowledge of Enrico Maltoni and Mauro Carli—themselves collectors of antique coffee machines.

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Maltoni has already written several books about coffee culture. His personal collection has also served as a fundamental contribution to the birth of MUMAC; the world's most distinguished museum dedicated to coffee-making instruments, which has been built inside the old factory of the glorious Gruppo Cimbali. Carli, an architect, has been collecting all kinds of coffee machines designed for home use for more than 20 years, as well as original patents and other coffee-related paraphernalia.

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The book covers 400 years of coffee history through 776 pages, 2,700 images, 2,080 technical descriptions, 220 advertising postcards and posters, 55 images of original patents and 60 technical drawings, with the text written in both Italian and English. Moving from design to ethnography, iconic Italian brands—such a s Bialetti and Faema—are well represented in the book, as well as Turkish coffee pots and other tools from all over the world.

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In conjunction with the book launch, the authors have also created a dedicated website, full of anecdotes, facts and cultural insights that allows readers to trace the past and the present's global coffee mania. In 2014, the authors will organize special events and temporary exhibitions all over the world. For updates or to purchase the book—which sells for €100—visit the website, where you can also flip through some of its pages.

Images courtesy of Enrico Maltoni and Mauro Carli

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